Mind is the manifestation of infinite consciousness, so much so that, mind is infinite, but it is limited by thoughts. A thoughtless mind merges in its source. When we meditate, we can realize the vastness of the mind. Every mind is unique and independent. Each mind has a set of accumulated impressions and gathered impressions, which project outside as thoughts. It is the thoughts that decide the nature of the mind. The mind decides the future of a person. To be more precise, the accumulated impressions and the gathered impressions collectively induce a person to perform an action.
Depending on the nature of the impressions and thoughts, the mind is of two kinds, the impure mind and the pure mind.
Impure mind is also called the emotional mind. An impure mind is full of binding desires and imaginations. When the desires are not satisfied, the mind becomes agitated. Such strong desires are called the binding desires. Impure mind lives either in the past or in the future. Impure mind is an emotional mind and can be easily exploited. It always thinks about the incidents of the past or have imaginations about the future, by that, it loses its tranquil nature. It always compares its performance with the other mind(other persons) which is a negative trait.
Imagination leads to unnecessary complications. When a mind is impure, not matured and disordered, it can be easily influenced and manipulated. It lacks divinity and it is not spiritually bound. An impure mind never accepts its own mistakes; it always blames others for its own mistakes. It becomes more and more weak, and loses its courage and strength by blaming others. When its desires are rejected, it becomes more weak and agitated. Desires cause bondage and bondage causes suffering. The root cause of desire is ignorance. A mind can never be satisfied by experiencing desires, because its source is infinite pure consciousness, and no materialistic matter can satisfy a mind completely. When one desire is satisfied, another one pops up and the desires keep on arising regardless of time and situation. When a lot of desires and emotions flood the mind, the body will not be able to balance its stability, as a result, the body will be affected. “When the mind is agitated, the body indeed goes to the state of agitation and on account of agitation, the vital airs flow unevenly. When the currents of bio-energy flow unevenly, their channels(nadis) attain to an improper condition. This causes physical sickness. By the purity of the mind, the vital air flows in regular course”. (Essence of Yogavaasishtha, 25, 35-40). An emotional mind gets fed up with life easily and that too at a very early stage.
Intellect means the acquired information and intelligence is the pure consciousness. It is because of the intelligence we are able to gather information. It is very important to take the mind to the intelligent level, and then it is easy to manage an emotional mind. This is acquired by meditating on the Self. The basis of life is intelligence. Intellect and emotions form only a part of the life. A suspicious mind always thinks about the consequences. It is a fearful mind and it leads to failure. Suspicion and fear suppresses the performance of the mind. Importance should be given to the performance of action, because the consequences and result follow automatically. When an emotional mind experiences success, it builds up its ego, and claims that the success is achieved because of its own effort alone. At the same time, when it experiences failure, it blames others as the cause for its failure. An emotional mind is a problematic mind; it always deals with situation in an adverse way. “The experiences of the world are a mere imagination of the mind. By the restraint of the mind, the delusion of worldly existence reaches alleviation”.(Essence of Yogavaasishtha, 7, 27)
Pure mind is based on intelligence. It lives in the present. Future is the extension of the present moment. An intelligent mind lives and realizes the importance of each moment. Pure mind knows to deal with worldly situations. Pure mind is matured, very stable and spiritual. It has clarity in life. When the mind has clarity, nothing can disturb that mind. Mind is ruled by two powers, one is the time and the other is the intelligence. When the mind concentrates on intelligence, the experiences that are the product of time can be ignored. Mind expands and becomes relaxed by meditation. Pure mind is the relaxed mind.
Each action is time bound and time completes the action. Karma phala, the result of action, is the completion of an action. No one can interfere in its result. When we receive the result, we have the choice only to deal with the result; whether we have to consider the result as a success or an opportunity to learn from that experience, is our choice. A pure mind will not be anxious or have fear over the result. Anxiety grows by thinking, just as fire grows by fuel. Only a pure mind can involve deeply and perform an action with perfection. When an action is perfect, the result will be perfect. We have authority only over the action and not over the result. If the belief is based on the inherent divine nature, then it definitely reflects on the personality(eg. Swami Vivekananda). Personality radiates the true nature, which is permanent.
Life passes through each moment; when each moment is enjoyed, then life will be successful. Each experience is unique. An intelligent mind will learn from the experiences of the past, and will not be affected by the experiences. A pure mind is not bound by its desires. “Mind alone is the cause for people’s bondage and liberation. When attached to objects, it leads to bondage. When free from objects, it leads to liberation”. (Amrita Bindu Upanishad, verse 2)
Liberation does not mean indifference; it means contentment. “Liberation is attained when the mind does not desire or grieve or reject or accept or feel happy or angry” (Astavakra samhita, 8, 2). If we realize that in reality the nature is Satchitananda Atma, then we will not have binding desires. Mind will be bereft of desires when it realizes its true nature. “The mind should be restrained to the extent that it resolves in the heart. This is wisdom and meditation. All else is but mere logic” (Amrita Bindu Upanishad, verse 5).
Meditation helps the mind to connect with intelligence. In the waking state, mind works in the conscious layer. In the dream state, mind works in the subconscious layer. In the deep sleep state, mind works in the unconscious layer. During meditation, the mind will be in the supreme conscious layer(intelligence layer). The power of the mind increases by meditation, and it will become more and more receptive and acceptable. Each thought is a conscious energy in different forms. Situations are common to all, but the way we react to situations shows our intelligence. An intelligent mind always reacts in an intelligent manner. A weak mind should be overcome by intelligence and should rise above situations.
Meditation reduces the accumulated impressions. When we meditate on the Self(silence), the power of the mind develops and this helps to deal with situations. Mind will gradually taste its infinite nature by meditation. Each thought is made of consciousness and meditation relaxes the mind and obstructs the wrong conclusions. Mind is like a screen, through which events pass on like an image. All the experiences are temporary and are erased by time. The scriptures give the knowledge about the mind and the way to deal with it. Mind has no form and it attains happiness when it is calm. “Mind is reduced to the state of bondage only by its own net of impression of thoughts just as the silkworm in the cocoon”(Essence of Yogavaasishtha, 6, 37). The undivided consciousness appears to become fragmented as the individualized consciousness by the play of the mind or thought. Just like a wave in the ocean, the individual consciousness or soul is the appearance on the supreme consciousness, through mind or thought. When the mind realizes this, it is liberated.
Thought of any kind is illusory. Even the mantras are the finite expression of the infinite. Meditation on forms can be a positive worship or an initial stage in meditation, but it veils the reality. The divine is formless and infinite. Meditating on the Self in silence is the highest worship. This concept is explained in Yogavaaasishtha, where sage Vaasishtha asks about the highest form of worship to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva explains that “The lotus eyed (vishnu) is not the deity. The three-eyed Shiva is not the deity; nor is the deity of the form of the mind. The splendor which is not artificial and which is without beginning and end is called the deity. For those who have not known the essential nature of the deity, the worship of form and the like has been prescribed. Worship of the form is not worship. Know that as the worship of the deity in which the divine Self is worshipped by the flowers of tranquility, knowledge and the like. Pure intelligence (or consciousness) which is beyond all parts and which is of the nature of the generality of Existence, attaining to the nature of vast Existence(or the totality of being) is described by the word deity. That pure consciousness gradually moved by the splendor of the energies of space, time and the like, having become the Jeeva(individual soul or individual consciousness), soon becomes the buddhi. There after it becomes the sense of ‘ I ‘, then attaining to the state of the mind, it clings to worldly existence. The Self is indeed full of all powers or energies. He accomplishes everything thoroughly. The Self is the highest deity. The Self is always worthy of worship by the wise ones. His worship is only meditation within. Nothing else is(His) worship. Therefore, let one worship Him, who is eternal, who is the support of the three worlds, who is of the nature of pure consciousness; who shines like a hundred thousand suns and who illuminates all appearances, by meditation. Let one meditate on this supreme spirit who is ever abiding in the body. Let him consider this splendor of pure consciousness in his own body as the deity” (Essence of Yoga vaasishtha, 22, 16-27). These are the words of lord Shiva on worship as explained to sage Vaasishtha.
We have to raise the mind by our own effort to meditate on the supreme consciousness. The scriptures and the rituals help us to attain tranquility of mind. A mind with full load of thoughts is very difficult to be abandoned. Accepting the present that has arrived in regular course, and not thinking about the past or future, the mind is reduced to the state free from thoughts.
The two methods for the thinning of the mind that facilitates meditation are the Yoga and the Jhana. Yoga is the restraint of the movement of the mind. The movement of the mind depends on prana(vital air). When that prana is controlled, the mind certainly becomes tranquil. The mind moves the body and the senses. The movement of prana happens under the influence of mental impressions. Also, mental impressions are gathered through the movement of prana. When one among the two is worn away, the other becomes weak.
Jhana means perceiving the truth. As long as there is no knowledge of truth, there is no extinction of the mind. Knowledge about the Self disappear the mental impressions. When the truth is realized, there may be desires, but we are not bound by the desires.
Mind is the finest manifestation of the pure consciousness. Mind causes the movement in the existence. Binding desires makes a person weak. Among all the ills of the worldly life, it is the binding desires, which causes lasting grief. “Whom the world is not afraid of and who is not afraid of the world and who is free from exultation, anger and fear, he is said to be liberated while living”(Essence of Yogavaasishtha, 3, 29).
Mind is needed to experience life, it is by the mind we gather knowledge and reach the supreme conscious level. After reaching the goal, the mind should be discarded. This is the highest bliss. Indeed, mind has an incredible journey.
The Bhagavad Gita,(Swami sivananda,Trans), Uttaranchal, Himalayas, The Divine Life Society, (2003).
Amrita Bindu Upanishad, (Swami Tadatmananda,Trans), Somerset, New Jersey, Arsha bodha center.
The Essence of Yogavaasishtha, (Samvid,Trans), Mount Road, Chennai, Samata Books